The Vidacycle Farm

We grow a variety of foods in harmony with nature, going beyond organic to encourage biodiversity, healthy soil and resilience year-on-year. We are deeply connected to the land and committed to regenerative farming, producing diverse and nutritious sources of food.
In 2005, our family took over a farm in the beautiful Loncomilla Valley, Chile where centuries-old Pais vines are deeply rooted into the ground. We planted 8,000 olive trees, hundreds of almond, walnut and pistachio trees, subsistence vegetable gardens and have committed to protecting surrounding native forests, nurturing soil, and dry farming.
Our regenerative approach means we work in harmony with natural ecosystems – listening, learning and working with nature to produce an abundance of beautiful, nutrient-rich food and natural wine.

“We call ourselves ‘Vidacycle’ because we are fascinated by life cycles – in Spanish, ‘vida’ means ‘life’.”

Committed to an ecological farming future

Farms are how we make food, fuel and fibre: they’re at the heart of our existence. At Vidacycle, our love for the land has taught us just how important regenerative farming is for the future of people and the earth.

Farming this way means we prioritise the health of our soil and encourage diversity on our farm. We have a strong connection with the land. It is the root of everything we do and every decision we make. We observe and work with natural ecosystems to build a farming system that regenerates the landscape and the soil, enhances the biodiversity and wildlife, produces a range of nutritious sources of food, whilst also providing income streams for the farm. It has been a long journey with plenty of challenges…

Building a resilient fire-friendly farm

In 2017 our whole farm burned amidst a 1 million acre superfire. It was a very scary time. We lost 7,000 olive trees and all our grapes burned on the vines. Eight years of care, planting, replanting, nurturing, picking off bugs by hand, watering, observing… all singed in a matter of minutes. You can read about it in detail here

Vidacycle Farm in 2017 after the fire

Vidacycle Farm now

Summer 2019 was our first harvest since the fire, that’s how devastating it was. That Summer was also followed by Chile’s worst drought in history.
It is through these experiences that we have come to realise extreme weather is the new normal and that we have to build a resilient, fire-friendly farm — one that conserves and retains as much water on the land for as long as possible.
We’ve been entirely focused on creating a sustainable system that can survive droughts and fire, as these are all part of nature’s pattern in Chile. Much of what we’ve done comes down to building healthy soil.

Soil is life

Soil is a miracle substance — it cleans water, prevents drought and flooding, sequesters carbon and helps provide nutrients in our food. One of the ways we are rebuilding soil health since the fires is by grazing sheep to help retain more water in the soils — their pooing and grazing helps circulate more carbon and feed the billions of microorganisms in the soil, which ultimately helps to keep the plants green for longer throughout the year.

It’s a long road, but since the fire we have already seen more green plants in the middle of Summer which gives us hope.  We’re completely in awe of the resilience of our amazing País vines, which have mostly recovered from being burnt to a crisp.

Seeing the benefits of our regenerative approach to farming is particularly important to us – with no chemicals or irrigation, the landscape can support all kinds of life above and below the ground. And we believe it’s this life and this way of farming that imparts distinctive flavour and energy in what we grow. Our Tinte natural wine is the perfect example of this.

Vidacycle Apps

Our obsession with soil doesn’t stop at the root of our own vines and trees. We also develop tech for other small scale farmers. Our range of apps, including Soilmentor, are vital in becoming more resilient as farmers, and in realising our vision of helping to build ecology, profitability and beauty on farms around the world.

Vidacycle Tech took root after we noticed a few hundred of our 8,000 olive trees dying back each year after the frost – it was devastating to see many years of growth (and hard work) die back completely. That’s when Abby, with her physics background, developed software to monitor and track individual tree health. Each day we can look online to see sectors or individual trees that need attention right away, and also observe long term patterns of tree behaviour so we can give better care to struggling trees.

Pretty soon our neighbour saw the potential for this system on her blueberry farm, a totally different way of using it – she started using the same technology to track how many blueberries each worker picked, then another farmer began using it out in the vineyard to keep track of the productivity and health of his vines.

“Soon we had a cohort of tools to help independent farmers, like us, thrive and become more resilient, sustainable and profitable.”

Farmers from around the world now use Soilmentor, Sectormentor or Workmentor. If you’re a farmer, you can find out more about them by following those links…

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